Tag: Matt McBride

Saturday, July 15th: Sounds Win behind Munoz’s Big Bat while Altamirano Pitches Snappers to Victory

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Yairo Munoz (3 for 5 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Shortstop Yairo Munoz (3 for 5 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 5 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds       11

Omaha Storm Chasers  5

WP – J.Smith 3-1 / 4.24

HR – McBride (8), Munoz (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Yairo Munoz

(3 for 5 / Home Run / 2 Doubles / 5 RBIs)

Shortstop Yairo Munoz had a big night at the plate for Nashville. The 22-year-old homered, doubled twice and drove in 5 runs for the Sounds on Saturday. First baseman Matt McBride had 3 hits, including a home run and a double, while right fielder Mark Canha singled twice and doubled. Center fielder Jaff Decker had a pair of hits and a walk, and designated hitter Matt Olson doubled, walked and drove in a run. Starter Frankie Montas was solid, striking out 5 over 4 scoreless frames. RHP Josh Smith allowed 1 run in 3 innings of work to earn his 3rd win, while RHP Lou Trivino gave up 4 runs in just 1/3 of an inning of relief, and Kyle Finnegan notched the final five outs for Nashville to secure the save.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Monday, July 3rd: Milburn Pitches Snappers to Victory while Hounds Are Nearly No-Hit & Sounds Suffer Late-Inning Loss

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Matt Milburn (7 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Matt Milburn (7 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers  1

Beloit Snappers                 2

WP – Milburn 5-5 / 4.41

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Matt Milburn

(7 IP / 7 H / 1 ER / 1 BB / 6 K / Win)

RHP Matt Milburn turned in his third straight impressive start for the Snappers on Monday. Last year’s 29th-round draft pick for the A’s allowed just 1 run while stiking out 6 over 7 innings of work to earn the win over Wisconsin, and the 23-year-old has now given up just 2 earned runs and struck out 26 in 20 innings over his last 3 starts for the Snappers. RHP Heath Bowers tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his 3rd save. Third baseman Trace Loehr collected 3 hits for the second straight game, while designated hitter Kyle Nowlin doubled in the winning run in the bottom of the 4th for Beloit.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Stockton, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Monday, June 26th: Blackburn Pitches Sounds to Victory while Top Draft Picks Debut for Vermont & Norge Ruiz Makes 1st Start for AZL A’s

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds RHP Paul Blackburn (5 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Round Rock Express  3

Nashville Sounds      5

WP – Blackburn 5-6 / 3.05

HR – Nunez (20), McBride (6)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(5 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

The Sounds notched their first win since last Tuesday on Monday night in Nashville. RHP Paul Blackburn turned in another solid start for the Sounds, allowing 2 runs over 5 1/3 frames to earn his 5th win, and the 23-year-old now has an ERA of 1.73 over 5 starts during the month of June. RHP Simon Castro tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Jake Sanchez got the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 3rd save for Nashville. Third baseman Renato Nunez hit his league-leading 20th home run, a 2-run shot in the 1st inning to give the Sounds an early lead, while catcher Matt McBride belted a 3-run blast in the bottom of the 4th, and right fielder Mark Canha and designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway had a pair of hits apiece in the win. Meanwhile, catcher Beau Taylor and RHP Kyle Finnegan were reassigned to Nashville from Midland on Monday, while RHP Ben Bracewell was returned to the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Thursday, June 22nd: Ports Win Behind Siddall’s Big Bat while Sounds Drop a Pair

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Brett Siddall (4 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Designated Hitter Brett Siddall (4 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

Modesto Nuts       1

Stockton Ports  11

WP – Duno 6-3 / 5.10

HR – Siddall 2 (9), Murphy (9), Bolt (7)

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Brett Siddall

(4 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 5 RBIs)

Designated hitter Brett Siddall had a big night at the plate for the Ports on Thursday. The 22-year-old collected 4 hits, including a pair of home runs, while driving in 5 runs to lead Stockton to victory in the first game of the second half. Catcher Sean Murphy and center fielder Skye Bolt both slugged solo shots, while first baseman Sandber Pimentel had 3 hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Ports. RHP Angel Duno turned in a strong start on Thursday, allowing just 1 run over 6 innings of work to earn his 6th win for Stockton. In other news, A’s shortstop Marcus Semien was sent to Stockton to begin a rehab assignment and is expected to make his first appearance for the Ports on Friday.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Beloit & Vermont…

Top 10 A’s Prospects of the Week (6/4-10)

by Josh Moore / A’s Farm Contributor

A brief look at some of the top performers in the A’s minor league system over the past week…

gh6565501) RHP Grant Holmes (Midland – AA)

(14 IP/9 H/2 ER/1 BB/17 K/1.29 ERA/0.71 WHIP)

Coming in to the week, Holmes had allowed 43 base runners and 18 earned runs in his previous 25 1/3 innings. The right-hander turned it around in a big way with two gems this week, including Saturday’s 8-inning, 2-hit, 8-strikeout performance where he held the opposition hitless until the 7th inning.

 

rn6005242) 3B-OF Renato Nunez (Nashville – AAA)

(25 AB/2 HR/4 BB/7 K/.400 AVG/.483 OBP/.800 SLG)

Nunez is the last remaining member of Stockton’s 2014 infield not currently playing in the big leagues. But with the tear he’s on now, it might not be long before he joins Chad Pinder, Matt Olson and Ryon Healy in Oakland. Nunez has hit 5 home runs and 5 doubles over his last 12 games for the Sounds.

 

mm4737243) C-OF Matt McBride (Nashville – AAA)

(22 AB/3 HR/2 BB/4 K/.318 AVG/.375 OBP/.773 SLG)

The 2nd-round draft pick of the Indians back in 2006, McBride had hit 1 home run all season for Nashville before belting 3 in 3 straight games to start the week off with a bang for the Sounds.

 

mc6563054) 3B Matt Chapman (Sounds – AAA)

(28 AB/3 HR/2 BB/11 K/.286 AVG/.333 OBP/.643 SLG)

Chapman has the organization’s longest current hitting streak at 10 games and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, while also hitting 5 home runs over his last 9 games for the Sounds.

 

pb6211125) RHP Paul Blackburn (Nashville – AAA)

(13 IP/5 H/1 ER/4 BB/9 K/0.69 ERA/0.69 WHIP)

The 1st-round supplemental draft pick for the Cubs in 2012, Blackburn has allowed 1 earned run or less in 4 of his last 5 starts since May 19. And last week, opposing hitters had a .114/.188/.182 slash line against the right-hander.

 

ew6422016) SS Eli White (Stockton – A+)

(20 AB/0 HR/1 BB/5 K/.400 AVG/.429 OBP/.500 SLG)

White came into the week on a 2-for-19 skid, but then managed to put together 3 multi-hit games in a row for the Ports. And Stockton skipper Rick Magnante told us last month that White is a guy who has the potential to really surprise people.

 

ed6415217) SS-3B Edwin Diaz (Beloit – A)

(20 AB/1 HR/3 BB/3 K/.300 AVG/.391 OBP/.550 SLG)

NOT the Seattle Mariners reliever, the 21-year-old Puerto Rico native has compiled a total of 7 multi-hit performances in his last 14 games for Beloit, and he belted a big 3-run blast in the first inning for the Snappers on Saturday.

 

em6427148) SS-3B Eric Marinez (Beloit – A)

(18 AB/0 HR/0 BB/4 K/.444 AVG/.444 OBP/.444 SLG)

Marinez started the week strong, slapping 8 singles in his first 11 at-bats. He might have placed even higher on the list if he hadn’t gone 0 for 7 in Thursday’s and Friday’s games. Since May 1, though, he’s put up a .317/.398/.404 slash line for the Snappers.

 

bs6157029) OF Brett Siddall (Stockton – A+)

(18 AB/1 HR/1 BB/4 K/.333 AVG/.368 OBP/.556 SLG) 924/1292/2216

Before Saturday’s 0-for-3 performance versus Modesto, Siddall had a 9-game hitting streak for Stockton, with 3 consecutive multi-hit games and a total of 5 extra-base hits over that span.

 

js60708010) RHP Joel Seddon (Midland – AA)

(10 IP/8 H/1 ER/2 BB/4 K/0.90 ERA/1.00 WHIP)

After making a 4-inning spot start for Nashville on May 30, the former 11th-round selection out of South Carolina returned to the RockHounds and picked up a 3-inning save before turning in a 7-inning, 1-run start to earn his 3rd win of the season last week.

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Wednesday, June 7th: Smith Leads Nashville to No-Hit Victory while Barreto Sits Out & Brugman May Be on the Move

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Chris Smith (6 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         4

Omaha Storm Chasers  0

WP – Smith 4-2 / 2.96

HR – Nunez (16), McBride (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Chris Smith

(6 IP / 0 H / 0 ER / 2 BB / 4 K / Win)

On a warm Wednesday night in Omaha, four Sounds pitchers combined to throw Nashville’s first no-hitter since 2007. RHP Chris Smith led the effort, tossing 6 hitless innings and striking out 4 while throwing a total of 93 pitches. Rehabbing reliever Sean Doolittle registered a pair of strikeouts in the 7th, while RHP Tucker Healy retired the side on just 9 pitches in the 8th, and RHP Simon Castro walked a batter but got the final three outs in the 9th to nail down the no-hitter for Nashville. Catcher Matt McBride homered in his third straight game, belting a 2-run blast to put Nashville on the board in the 2nd, while designated hitter Renato Nunez singled and slugged his team-leading 16th home run, a solo shot in the 3rd, and right fielder Jaff Decker doubled, walked, singled twice and scored twice for the Sounds. Shortstop Franklin Barreto was not in the lineup for Wednesday’s contest, and Sounds play-by-play man Jeff Hem reported that the plan is for the top prospect to sit out for three games after going 0 for his last 13 with 9 strikeouts. Meanwhile, MiLB.com writer Kelsie Heneghan reported she’d heard that Nashville outfielder Jaycob Brugman was called up to Oakland while celebrating Wednesday night’s no-hitter.

Click here for more on Midland & Beloit…

Tuesday, June 6th: Decker’s 2 HRs Help Sounds Win while Hounds, Ports & Snappers Come Up Short

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaff Decker (2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Jaff Decker (2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds         7

Omaha Storm Chasers  3

WP – Brady 3-1 / 3.19

HR – Chapman (14), McBride (3), Decker 2 (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Jaff Decker

(2 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 3 RBIs)

A four-homer game helped the Sounds sail to victory on Tuesday. Two of those homers came off the bat of right fielder Jaff Decker, who drilled a 2-run drive in the 2nd to give the Sounds the lead and then added a solo shot in the 5th to extend Nashville’s edge. Both of Decker’s round-trippers were part of back-to-back blasts. Catcher Matt McBride socked a solo shot right after Decker’s drive in the 2nd, and third baseman Matt Chapman belted a 2-run blast just before Decker’s big fly in the 5th. Left fielder Jaycob Brugman singled, tripled and drove in a run, while shortstop Franklin Barreto went 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts and has now gone 0 for 13 with 9 strikeouts over his last 3 games. RHP Michael Brady turned in an impressive start for the Sounds, allowing just 1 run while striking out 10 over 5 innings of work to notch his 3rd win for Nashville. And with RHP Jesse Hahn returning to action for the A’s, first baseman Matt Olson was sent back to the Sounds on Tuesday and Chris Parmelee was placed on the disabled list.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Beloit…

Sunday, June 4th: Blackburn Leads Sounds to Shutout Victory while Murphy’s 2 HRs Help Stockton Win & Armenteros Makes Pro Debut

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (7 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (7 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Nashville Sounds  6

Iowa Cubs               0

WP – Blackburn 4-5 / 3.26

HR – Chapman (13), McBride (2)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(7 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 4 K / Win)

RHP Paul Blackburn turned in an impressive start for the Sounds on Sunday, allowing just 2 hits over 7 shutout innings to notch his 4th win for Nashville. And the former 1st-round supplemental pick for the Cubs now has an ERA of 1.44 over his last 4 starts for the Sounds. RHPs Tyler Sturdevant and Tucker Healy each contributed a scoreless inning in relief to complete the 4-hit shutout on Sunday. Third baseman Matt Chapman homered for the second straight day and doubled in the Sounds’ first run, while designated hitter Matt McBride also homered, doubled and drove in a pair, and catcher Ryan Lavarnway singled, doubled, walked and drove in a run to help the Sounds win for the fifth time in their last six games. Meanwhile, first baseman Matt Olson was recalled by the A’s, and RHP Daniel Mengden was optioned back to Nashville on Sunday.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton, Beloit & the Dominican Summer League A’s…

Monday, May 1st: McBride’s Big Blow Gives Sounds Walk-Off Win while Hounds Suffer 3-Hit Shutout

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Matt McBride (Home Run / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Outfielder Matt McBride (HR / 2 RBIs)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

New Orleans Baby Cakes  4

Nashville Sounds             6

WP – J.Smith 2-0 / 3.29

HR – Nunez (5), McBride (1)

Prospect Of The Game:

Outfielder Matt McBride

(Home Run / 2 RBIs)

With two outs, a man on and the game tied in the 12th, left fielder Matt McBride smacked a 2-run homer to give the Sounds a walk-off win as Nashville notched its fourth straight victory on Monday. Designated hitter Renato Nunez slugged a solo shot in the 8th, while center fielder Kenny Wilson doubled in a run in the 9th, then in the next at-bat, shortstop Melvin Mercedes singled in the tying run for the Nashville. Franklin Barreto tripled and scored the winning run in the 12th, while catcher Ryan Lavarnway singled, doubled and scored a run for the Sounds. Starter Daniel Gossett was charged with 2 unearned runs over 5 innings of work, while RHP Chris Jensen gave up 2 runs in 2 innings of relief, and RHP Josh Smith picked up the win after throwing scoreless frames in the 11th and 12th for the Sounds. And with Sonny Gray returning to action for the A’s, outfielder Ryan LaMarre was optioned back to Nashville on Monday.

Click here for more on Midland & Stockton…

Meet Your 2017 Nashville Sounds

0nsIMG_2587We recently took a look at the likely A’s opening day roster for 2017, which appears to be reasonably well set, with the exception of a couple of minor question marks. This year’s Triple-A Nashville Sounds roster is a far more complicated puzzle to try to piece together at this point though. The main reason for this is that the A’s have invited a whopping 70 players to their major league spring training camp this year, and all but a handful of them already have major league or Triple-A experience and are expected to battle for 50 roster spots with Oakland and Nashville.

Some players, like LHP Felix Doubront and RHPs Chris Bassitt and Daniel Mengden, are likely to open the season on the disabled list. But if most of the others remain healthy, then that will leave plenty of players on the outside looking in. And with the A’s major league roster seeming to be fairly well set at this point, most of that roster crunch will be occurring at Nashville, and we may be looking at a fairly significant roster purge towards the end of spring training before rosters can be finalized.

While recent draftees, like LHP A.J. Puk and catcher Sean Murphy, certainly won’t be in contention to open the season anywhere near as high as Triple-A, and others players, like infielders Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock, appear set to start the season with Double-A Midland, there are certain players who will be guaranteed plenty of regular playing time at Nashville this season no matter what happens – top prospects like Matt Chapman, Franklin Barreto and Matt Olson, as well as others.

The A’s usually like to start the season with 13 pitchers and 12 position players at the Triple-A level. And while some recent trades and injuries have helped to relieve the pitching logjam at Nashville a bit, there currently appear to be about 18 position players jockeying for 12 Triple-A roster spots at this point, so something’s definitely going to have to give there. So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at how things are shaping up for your 2017 Nashville Sounds…

 

CATCHERS

Bruce Maxwell

Bruce Maxwell

The catching corps appears to be one of the clearer areas when it comes to the Nashville roster. If Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley are both healthy to start the season, then it looks looks likely that Bruce Maxwell will start the year back at Nashville, getting most of the starts behind the plate for the Sounds. Matt McBride, who shared time with Maxwell at Nashville last season, appears set to do the same again this year. The A’s signed catcher Ryan Lavarnway as a minor league free agent in the offseason. But just as there doesn’t appear to be room for three catchers on Oakland’s roster, there doesn’t seem to be room for three catchers on Nashville’s roster either. And since Lavarnway spent most of last season at Double-A and Midland catcher Beau Taylor is set to spend the first 50 games of the season on the suspended list, Lavarnway may need to start the year on the Double-A RockHounds roster until an opening develops in the catching corps.

 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Franklin Barreto

Franklin Barreto

There’s no doubt that top prospect Franklin Barreto will have the chance to get plenty of at-bats as Nashville’s starting shortstop this season. And since it appears unlikely that either Joey Wendle or Chad Pinder will be able to crack Oakland’s opening day roster at this point, then Wendle should end up seeing the majority of the starts at second base for the Sounds, just as he has for the past two seasons, with Pinder splitting time between both second and short while possibly increasing his versatility by spending some time at other spots around the diamond as well. The A’s re-signed minor league free agent Josh Rodriguez, who’s spent most of his time at second and short of late, and also signed minor league free agent Jermaine Curtis, who’s spent most of his time at second and third. But if all the top prospects are healthy, it’s awfully hard to see where the at-bats are to be found for these two veteran minor leaguers. Meanwhile, infielders Yairo Munoz, Max Schrock and Richie Martin are likely to find themselves starting the season on the Double-A RockHounds roster.

 

CORNER INFIELDERS

Matt Chapman

Matt Chapman

Top power prospect Matt Chapman should find himself firmly entrenched at the hot corner for the Sounds in 2017. Renato Nunez clearly will get his share of at-bats too but, with Chapman viewed as the A’s third baseman of the future, most of them aren’t likely to be coming at third this year. Matt Olson has split time the past couple seasons between first base and right field, while minor league free agent signee Chris Parmelee, a former 1st-round pick with plenty of major league service time under his belt, is also experienced at first and in right, and he and Olson should end up sharing most of the at-bats at first and in right for the Sounds. But let’s not forget that first baseman Rangel Ravelo is still in the picture as well, though he was optioned off the 40-man roster in the offseason. The same is true of utility man Max Muncy, who has spent most of his time at first and third. The A’s signed minor league free agent infielder Jermaine Curtis, who’s spent the bulk of his time at the hot corner, but it seems highly unlikely that he’ll steal many at-bats from Matt Chapman so, if he can crack the Triple-A roster, most of his at-bats would be more likely to come from his secondary position at second base. The A’s also re-signed minor free agent Josh Rodriguez, who’s also far more likely to find at-bats at second than at third, if he can find a way to make it onto the Sounds roster.

 

OUTFIELDERS

Jaycob Brugman

Jaycob Brugman

The Sounds outfield picture is another complicated one to try to piece together at this point, with far more players than spots on the roster. Starting at the top, Mark Canha and Jake Smolinski seem to have the inside track for the final two major league roster spots with Oakland. And if things play out just that way, then major league veteran Alejandro De Aza, who signed a minor league contract in the offseason, would find himself back in Triple-A. However, if De Aza should manage to beat out either Canha or Smolinski, then the odd man out in that competition could be headed back to Nashville. Of course, Smolinksi and De Aza both have plenty of experience in center field, as does Jaycob Brugman, who is ikely to get plenty of at-bats for the Sounds this season, whether he’s starting in center or in either one of the corner spots. The A’s re-signed outfielder Andrew Lambo to a minor league contract, and added minor league free agent outfielder Jaff Decker, as well as Chris Parmelee who, like returning prospect Matt Olson, has spent plenty of time both in right field and at first base. Max Muncy, who will also be in the roster mix, saw significant time in the outfield last year as well. And it’s worth noting that, De Aza, Brugman, Lambo, Decker, Parmelee, Olson and Muncy give the organization a total of 7 left-handed hitters in the Triple-A outfield mix, and that’s on a team that’s only expected to carry 12 position players – of course, catcher Matt McBride spent plenty of time in the outfield last year as well – so something’s definitely going to have to give here one way or another!

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Jesse Hahn

Jesse Hahn

Until recently, the shape of the Sounds starting rotation was looking fairly clear. But the trade of Dillon Overton and Daniel Mengden’s recent foot injury have left things a little less clear. What is clear is that if RHP Jesse Hahn can’t beat out RHPs Andrew Triggs or Jharel Cotton, the favorites to fill the final two spots in the A’s rotation, then Hahn will wind up heading up the Sounds starting five. Two other apparent certainties to join him there are flame-throwing RHP Frankie Montas and former 2nd-round draft pick Daniel Gossett, who finished out the season strong for the Sounds. Beyond those three, the pitching picture starts to get a little murkier, though that’s certainly not for a dearth of viable candidates. LHP Ross Detwiler signed a minor league contract to remain with the organization, but since he has an opt-out clause, he could depart if not guaranteed a spot on the major league roster. But should he decide to stay, then he would likely garner a spot in the Sounds rotation. RHP Raul Alcantara could also be in the mix, but he’s out of options, and it seems unlikely that the A’s would try to sneak him through waivers to get him back on the Nashville roster. RHPs Zach Neal and Chris Smith were two of Nashville’s top starters last season, so they would represent a couple of experienced options, but both primarily shifted to working out of the bullpen during the latter part of last season. Meanwhile, a pair of RHPs the A’s signed as minor league free agents could represent two of the team’s top options – Cesar Valdez, who posted an impressive 1-to-9 walk-to-strikeout ratio for Triple-A Fresno last year, and Michael Brady, who put up a solid 2.89 ERA between Triple-A and Double-A last season. RHP Paul Blackburn, who spent all of last season at Double-A, could fight his way into the competition, as could RHP Heath Fillmyer, but both may be more likely to kick off the year at Midland. RHP Daniel Mengden, who recently underwent foot surgery, and RHP Chris Bassitt and LHP Felix Doubront, both of whom are returning from Tommy John surgery, will all prominently factor into the Sounds pitching picture as soon as they’re ready to return to action as well.

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Bobby Wahl

Bobby Wahl

There should be no shortage of candidates to fill out the 8 spots in the Sounds bullpen this season. If the A’s should decide to keep RHP Raul Alcantara on the major league roster, since he’s out of options, and there are no further pitching injuries or trades at the major league level, then LHP Daniel Coulombe is likely to find himself starting the year back at Nashville. RHP Bobby Wahl, who posted a 2.65 ERA and 14 saves across three levels last year, RHP Tucker Healy, who struck out 76 in 52 1/3 innings for Nashville in 2016, and RHP Aaron Kurcz all seem likely to return to Music City as well. The A’s also signed minor league free agent RHPs Josh Smith, Tyler Sturdevant and Simon Castro, all of whom have some degree of major league experience under their belts and seem destined to be a part of Nashville’s relief corps this year. The final spots in the Sounds bullpen are likely to be filled by whoever among Zach Neal, Chris Smith, Michael Brady and Cesar Valdez don’t end up finding spots in the Sounds starting rotation. And unless injuries strike, it doesn’t appear that there will be any room for RHPs Trey Cochran-Gill or Sam Bragg, both of whom had solid seasons for Midland last year, to make the move up to Triple-A to start the season.

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

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